Mothers Were Surveyed And The Most Stressful Number Of Kids You Can Have Is Three

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Mothers Were Surveyed And The Most Stressful Number Of Kids You Can Have Is Three

Before you and your partner decide to start a family, it's critical to discuss how many children you want to have.  

While some people opt to have none or make the brave decision to match the Duggars at 19, Pew Social Trends reports American families have an average of 2.4 children.

But as any parent will tell you, as wonderful as raising your children is, it can also be an exceptionally stressful task.

This begs the question, is there a specific number of kids parents can have that can stress them out the most?

Well, according to TODAY Parents, there is and it's smaller than you think.

"I do not feel like I have it together."

In 2013, TODAY Parents surveyed more than 7,000 mothers in the US, which determined having three children is more stressful than having one or two, while having four or more is the least.

"Scary Mommy" creator and mother-of-three Jill Smokler  the news outlet she agrees with the results, adding that having a third children was more challenging than expected.

"Going from one to two was an easy, breezy transition," she said. "Two to three, everything was turned upside down. I do not feel like I have it together. You only have two hands! Just crossing the street and not being able to physically hold all their hands I find tremendously stressful."

"One on one kid time is the best. 😍"Jill Smokler/Instagram

On a scale from one to 10, mothers were asked to rate how much stress they felt on a daily basis, with the results averaging in 8.5.

While some women factored in stress from work and having a lazy partner, 75% said this feeling stems from the need to be a perfectionist.

"Before you're a mom, you take that for granted."

Luckily, that feeling won't last forever.

Dr. Janet Taylor, a psychiatrist and mum-of-four explained that "the more children you have, the more confident you become in your parenting abilities," and you'll no longer strive to be a perfectionist.

"Moms are acutely aware of the fact they do not have the time to take care of their own needs. Forget reading a book, exercising or fun hobbies: Some moms barely have time to shower."

Before you're a mom, you take that for granted. When you are a mom you just don't have the time."

There's just not enough space in your head for perfectionism when you get to four or more kids."

But what else stresses mothers out?

According to the survey, 46% of women said their husbands/partners cause them more stress than their children do, while 60% say it's from the inability to do "everything that needs to be done" in a certain amount of time.

Nine out of ten moms said they were stressed about staying fit and attractive and 72% added they become more stressed over how stressed they already are.

Interestingly enough, 60% said raising daughters are more stressful than sons.


Do you think a parent can have too many children? Let us know in the comments!

Maya has been working at Shared for a year. She just begrudgingly spent $200 on a gym membership. Contact her at